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Posts Tagged ‘Texas Association of Business’

Dan Patrick sightings

I doubt that the Chron’s calling out of Dan Patrick had anything to do with him appearing in public, in the daylight, where there might be people that don’t vote Republican, but it was good timing anyway. Now that Patrick is a heavy favorite in his first statewide race, for the powerful position of lieutenant […]

“Environmental tort reform”

Oh, hell no. After failing in their attempt to limit cities and counties’ ability to take industrial polluters to court, some Houston businesses and statewide lobbyists now want to limit how much local governments can collect in penalties, a sort of environmental tort reform effort aimed squarely at a Harris County Attorney’s office they say […]

National ag groups not happy with Republicans

It’s all about immigration reform. Craig Regelbrugge, who co-chairs the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform, says a large majority of his group’s members — which include large and small farming enterprises and growers all around the country — are Republican, and many give to the GOP. But he’s increasingly hearing from members who are so […]

More on Texas Left Me Out

The Observer reports on the launch of Texas Left Me Out. Members of the coalition pointed to two different studies that estimate that thousands of uninsured Texans with chronic conditions are likely to die as a result of not expanding Medicaid. A Harvard University/CUNY study released last week predicts between 1,840 to 3,035 deaths. Another study, by a […]

Perry works against his own stated interests

I don’t understand this at all. A bill that would have increased vehicle registration fees to raise money for transportation projects met its demise in the Texas House on Thursday. House Bill 3664 by state Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, was designed to generate money to pay down the state’s transportation-related debt and fund improvements […]

Senate passes amended HB5

The Senate has passed its version of House Bill 5, which makes sweeping changes to standardized testing and curriculum requirements for high school students. Texas high school students would have new curriculum requirements under legislation unanimously passed by the Senate on Monday — but they won’t be the ones the House envisioned when it approved […]

Drivers licenses for all – maybe

Not quite drivers licenses, exactly, but close enough. A Dallas Democrat has teamed up with two powerful Republicans to craft a compromise version of a bill that would give immigrants here illegally the ability to drive legally in Texas and obtain insurance – but only after they submit to a criminal background check, fingerprinting and […]

Water, water, not so fast

So much for that. A major bill on the top of Gov. Rick Perry’s priority list that would authorize spending billions of dollars on state water projects faltered in the Texas House on Monday night after a contentious debate over where to pull the money from. “My understanding is it’s doorknob dead,” the bill’s sponsor, […]

Weekend legislative threefer

That sound you heard on Friday was Rick Perry stamping his feet if he doesn’t get his way. Gov. Rick Perry is warning state legislators that it could be a long, hot summer in Austin if they don’t pass his top priorities: funding water and transportation projects and cutting business taxes. With a month left […]

Protecting polluters

Ridiculous. It’s never been easy fighting powerful polluters in Texas. A bill approved by a Senate committee today would make it even harder. With a big push from the Texas Chemical Council and the Texas Association of Business, the Senate Natural Resources Committee voted 6-3 today for legislation “streamlining” (read: weakening) the process that communities […]

Senate to consider expanded gambling

I didn’t really take it seriously when I heard that Sen. John Carona had filed his own gambling expansion legislation, but it seems it’s got some traction. A proposal from Dallas Republican Sen. John Carona would establish a commission that licenses 21 casinos throughout the state, including three mega-resorts in Bexar, Dallas and Tarrant counties […]

House passes major changes to testing and graduation requirements

This is a big deal. Texas public high school students would face far fewer high-stakes exams and gain more freedom in choosing courses under a major education bill approved by the state House on Tuesday. Hours of debate among lawmakers centered on whether the state was giving students much-needed flexibility or scaling back too far […]

More STAAR changes proposed

Everyone’s least favorite standardized test is a fat target these days. State Sen. Kel Seliger, the Amarillo Republican who chairs the Senate Higher Education Committee, filed a bill Tuesday offering broad changes to student assessment and high school graduation requirements in Texas. Senate Bill 225 would significantly reduce the number of state standardized tests students […]

Here come the tax cut proposals

When the sunny revenue forecast came in, we immediately got one crappy tax cut idea, to eliminate the margins tax at a cost of $4.5 billion. The Texas Association of Business didn’t care for the idea, at least at first, but are now warming up to it, because this is what they do. For Bill […]

TAB yields on testing

Retreat! Some of the strongest advocates for high-stakes testing, Texas business leaders now want to cut the number of exams students must pass to finish high school, the latest attempt to ease tougher graduation requirements that went into effect last year. The number of high-stakes tests would fall from 15 to as few as six […]

Can you believe it’s been ten years?

Ten years (and one week) ago, four defeated Democratic candidates for the State House filed a lawsuit against the Texas Association of Business, claiming that TAB funneled illegal corporate contributions into state legislative races in the 2002 election. As you can see from what I wrote at the time – yes, I was blogging that […]

Fee for all

Fees are part of the answer for Texas’ pressing infrastructure needs, but they aren’t and cannot be the whole solution. To help keep the Texas business climate robust, lawmakers should double state fees on motor vehicle registrations and impose a new fee on every water meter in the state, the state’s largest business lobbying group […]

TAB does not intend to release its hostage

And why should they, if it’s a viable strategy? Representatives from the Texas Coalition for a Competitive Workforce, which includes major business groups and local chambers of commerce, said at a news conference that the assessment and accountability system known as the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness cannot be rolled back. Too many […]

Pauken on testing

Patricia Kilday Hart has a conversation with Texas Workforce Commission Chair Tom Pauken about testing and accountability in public schools. As a Texas Workforce Commissioner, Pauken has spent a lot of time studying whether our public school system prepares an educated workforce. His conclusion? The focus on college-prep and testing has, well, “left behind” kids […]

TAB takes a hostage

Can’t say I’m surprised by this tactic. Leaders in the business community said Wednesday that they would not stand for increased funding for education if it came with any rollback of accountability standards in Texas public schools. “If we are going to remain competitive in the world’s market, we are going to have to have […]

TAB joins school finance litigation

But not as a force for good. The Texas Association of Business announced today that it will join a school finance lawsuit against the state, demanding a study of Texas school system efficiency. “The Constitution of Texas calls for the state to provide an efficient public school system, and in our view, clearly the school […]

How Perry punked the GHP

Last week, I wrote about Rick Perry’s budget suicide pact and how it was endorsed by the Greater Houston Partnership in a credibility-killing move. Turns out, according to Patti Hart, Perry didn’t exactly tell them what it was they were endorsing. Through statements vetted by committee, the GHP has supported increasing the cigarette tax, saying […]

The SBOE can even make math controversial

The State Board of Education is gearing up to revise math standards, and as is always the case someone is pushing back. The Texas Association of Business is urging the state board of education to go back to the drawing board on the standards, which the 15-member state panel is expected to take up next […]

All the “news” that fits, we print

I’ve heard of slow news days before, but this is ridiculous. State Comptroller Susan Combs trumpeted a survey Tuesday showing – as she wrote in the forward to a 15-page report – that a mere 3.4 percent of employers surveyed believe the Affordable Care Act will be good for their business. Nearly two-thirds said federal […]

House approves a little more money, Senate readies its budget

Just a little. Texas House budget-writers voted Monday to free up an additional $3 billion for key state services through such moves as speeding up tax collections, delaying payments and suspending the back-to-school sales tax holiday. The bills next go to the full House, which Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, predicted could be willing […]

Bill Hammond gets his name in the papers again

Whether he actually achieves any of the goals that are the basis for many of these stories remains to be seen. Hammond, a former business owner and Republican lawmaker from Dallas, is accustomed to steering the state business organization between its support for Perry and his fervent belief that now is not the time to […]

Thousands attend the Save Texas Schools rally

Our voices have been heard. Whether we are listened to remains to be seen. Parents, educators, and students from across the state marched to the Capitol Saturday for the Save Texas Schools rally to express their concern over what could amount to a $10 billion reduction in state funding for schools. Initial estimates put attendance […]

Rally Day

Thanks in part to our only Governor, those attending today’s rally are even more fired up about it. As thousands of teachers, school staffers and parents prepare for a state Capitol rally Saturday against education cuts, they’ve found new recruits and fresh motivation from an unlikely source: Gov. Rick Perry. Reacting to Perry’s comments, some […]

The business lobby’s guide to balancing the budget

Bill Hammond, the president and CEO of the Texas Association of Business, pens an op-ed with his preferred approach to the budget. The main thing to note is right here: The state has $72.2 billion available for general-purpose spending during the 2012-13 biennium, leaving a $15 billion gap from the current general revenue spending of […]

Business leaders urged to oppose “cuts only” approach to the budget

Good luck with that. Former Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby is helping lead an effort to rally Texas business leaders against what he calls a “catastrophic” cuts-only approach to balancing the state’s budget in the face of a massive shortfall, estimated at $15 billion to $27 billion over the next two years. Hobby, a board member […]

Sheriffs not sold on Arizona immigration bill

Texas’ sheriffs are not very enthusiastic about being charged with enforcing federal immigration laws. Texas has 254 sheriffs, and while opinions vary about whether illegal immigration should be their problem, some Republicans are pushing measures that won’t give them a choice. More than a dozen bills targeting illegal immigration await the Legislature when it convenes […]

Will the Lege change the rules about corporate campaign contributions?

I think the answer to that question is probably “No”, but given the Citizens United ruling and the effect it had in the 2010 election, one cannot rule it out. Immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision, the Texas Ethics Commission, acting within state law, issued rules for individual corporations or unions to disclose their […]

The anti-immigrant hysteria has officially begun

Didn’t take long. State Rep. Debbie Riddle camped out and endured “creepy” noises inside the cold, empty Capitol to be first in line Monday morning to file legislation targeting illegal immigration and ballot security. The Tomball Republican said she remained outside the House chamber for two days because of the importance of getting priority bill […]

For those who are just tuning in to the whole Tom DeLay saga

The Statesman has a useful overview of How We Got Here in the DeLay money laundering case, which goes to trial today. I love the fact that it all began with a little hubris. It was November 2002, just days after Texas Republicans had won a historic election that gave them control of state government […]